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Imprisoned American? Carney Brings Up Talks With NK

by Keith Koffler on May 3, 2013, 8:21 am

Responding to a question about an American man who has been kidnapped by North Korea and reportedly given 15 years hard labor, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Thursday raised the prospect of talks with Kim Jong-Un.

From the gaggle aboard on Air Force One during President Obama’s flight to Mexico City:

Q    The North Koreans have sentenced an American man to 15 years hard labor.  Does the U.S. see this as an attempt by the North Koreans to get some kind of high-profile visit or start any kind of talks with the U.S.?

MR. CARNEY:  Well, we’ve seen those reports, Julie, and we’re working with our protecting power, the Embassy of Sweden in Pyongyang, to confirm them.  We don’t have any further information to share with you.

Separate from that issue, the issue of talks — we have made clear that there is a path open to the North Koreans that would allow for negotiations, but it is dependent upon the North Koreans demonstrating a willingness to live up to their international obligations in keeping with the 2005 — September 2005 joint statement of the six-party talks.  And if they choose that path, then we and other members of that — of the six-party talks are absolutely willing to have discussions with the North Koreans.

But thus far, as you know, they have flouted their obligations, engaged in provocative actions and rhetoric that brings them no closer to a situation where they can improve the lot of the North Korean people or reenter the community of nations.

Carney sought to divide the imprisonment from the offer of talks with the phrase “separate from that issue.” But offering talks to the North Koreans as part of a response to a question about the kidnapping is a dangerous mistake that may well signal to Kim that the United States is responding to his provocative action with a concession.

North Korean leaders have over the years routinely saber rattled and even kidnapped foreigners in the hope of getting concessions from the West. As part of the most recent episode, Kim has aslo been threatening to launch missiles.

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

RickW May 3, 2013 at 8:44 am

Like any bully, the North Koreans only respect strength. A Gumby type foreign policy where the end game is to join hands and sing Kumbaya will be laughed at.

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CiscoKid May 3, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Like Kerry?

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RickW May 3, 2013 at 4:05 pm

“That’s Secretary of State Kerry to you, Cisco. Did you know I served in Vietnam?”

LOL

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Scottso May 3, 2013 at 9:17 am

there are plenty of anti-US Americans living here that they can kidnap.

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srdem65 May 3, 2013 at 9:31 am

There are Americans being held in custody by hostile nations all over the world, justifiedly or not. One American held in NoKo (or anywhere) shouldn’t change our whole foreign policy toward a country that has vowed to destroy us.

We’re all sorry that a fellow citizen has been caught up in the lethal politics of the Koreas, but he knew the risks of his presence there.
No matter if the Americans captured are young hikers, religious missionaries, or CIA agents, we can’t allow our county to pay a ransom for their freedom.

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Otis Driftwood May 3, 2013 at 9:41 am

So who in their right mind would want to go into NK as a tourist?? Even as a tour director, and granted he has been visiting NK over the past 5 years, there is a time and place for everything. Here we are going through the motions for someone who did not heed the State Dept warning on travel to the NK region, at a time when “Little Man” is throwing a tantrum. In reading all the press releases the State Dept is telling the NK that they are going “Full Stop” in demanding the release of this idiot. Gee, another mess Hillary left for someone else to clean up. Maybe we could trade Blarney (Carney) for the tour guide?? Is the State Dept going to throw their own tantrum?

No caving to NK.. we go through this time and time again with visitors to other foreign countries. They know the risks and yet they go anyway. And when they get in trouble they expect immediate bailout.

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Julie Brueckheimer May 3, 2013 at 10:26 am

I take ‘tourist’ with a grain of salt.

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Otis Driftwood May 3, 2013 at 10:44 am

I agree. But that is how they are painting him as.

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Susan May 3, 2013 at 10:40 am

No doubt this will end like all the other North Korean imprisonments of Americans. My two big questions are:
(1) Who will be Preezy’s emissary this time around? Will it be Bubba Clinton or Jimmah Carter again? Maybe Preezy will give this one to Hillary to boost her 2016 creds.
(2) How much is this going to cost US? Inquiring minds want to know how much bowing, groveling, and concessions it will take for the portly potentate to release NK’s latest golden goose?

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RickW May 3, 2013 at 10:53 am

My thoughts:

1) GW Bush? Could blame EVERYTHING on him. He’d never take it
Dennis Rodman? Possible but Dennis might STAY there (Thank God)

Jesse Jackson? Hmmmmmm yup. He’s my guess

2) After seeing your “portly potentate” comment, I can’t type clearly! LMAO

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Star May 3, 2013 at 11:42 am

Wow–what if it had been Dennis Rodman! Black, basketball player…the mind reels.

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Otis Driftwood May 3, 2013 at 12:25 pm

they would be looking for 2 draft choices..

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gracepmc May 3, 2013 at 1:59 pm

And about that American Iranian Christian pastor rotting away in Iran –crickets and more crickets.

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Mandy Manners May 3, 2013 at 2:19 pm

What’s FCMABBHO done about Saeed Abedini?

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Susan May 3, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Okay, he isn’t an American, but what about Dr. Shakil Afridi, imprisoned in Pakistan for helping Orambo nab Osama bin Laden?

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Mandy Manners May 3, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Kenneth Bae is an American, but I’ve been wondering, too, about Afridi. Once again, FCMABBHO sticks a knife into an ally’s back.

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